September 20th, 2008

Barack Obama

Alice Walker on the 2008 Election

What our country desperately needs is a leader who loves us
Americans have been treated with contempt for so long that we have become inured to our own society's suffering

Alice Walker
The Guardian,
Saturday September 20 2008
Article history: This article appeared in the Guardian on Saturday September 20 2008 on p36 of the Comment & debate section. It was last updated at 00:13 on September 20 2008.
When we are offered a John McCain, who is too old for the job (and I cherish old age and old men but not to lead the world when it is ailing), or a George Bush, or a Sarah Palin, how unloved we are as Americans becomes painfully plain. McCain talks of war with the nostalgia and forgetfulness of the very elderly; Palin talks of forcing the young to have offspring they neither want nor can sustain; both of them feel at ease, apparently, with the game in which their candidacy becomes more of a topic of discussion than whether the planet has a future under their leadership.

[Full article...]

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Go Obey Your Husband You Stupid Republic

Thanks a Lot, Dick - Now Jane Has MORE of teh Stoopid.

The Hill: Palin won’t say whether veep is an executive post
Vice President Dick Cheney has said his office only partially belongs to the executive branch. Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden disagrees and Republican rival Sarah Palin isn’t saying.

Sen. Biden (Del.) believes the office he is seeking is solely in the executive branch, according to his staff. But aides to Alaska Gov. Palin did not answer the question.

“Unlike Dick Cheney, Joe Biden won’t have to create a full employment plan for lawyers and scholars to clear up something that was unquestioned for about 200 years. The vice president is part of the executive branch, period. End of story,” said Biden spokesman David Wade.

In turn, a spokesman for the Republican presidential campaign did not answer the question. Instead, he e-mailed remarks Palin gave at a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., on Monday.

Palin did not say what branch of government she believes the vice president’s office is part of in those remarks. Instead, Palin said she and Republican presidential nominee John McCain had discussed what responsibilities she would take on as his second-in-command.

“My mission is going to be energy, security and government reform and another thing near and dear to my heart: It’s going to be helping families who have special needs and children with special needs,” said Palin.

A Cheney spokesperson declined to comment for this story.


Cheney said his office was not fully part of the executive branch and as such did not have to comply with ISOO’s request.

Consequently, Democrats sought to cut financing for the office last summer. They argued if Cheney did not believe he was a member of the executive branch, he should not receive appropriations for the office. An amendment to the Financial Services spending bill, sponsored by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), to cut Cheney’s funding was defeated by eight votes.

At the time, Biden said he would support Emanuel’s amendment. In an interview on CNN in June 2007, the Delaware senator, himself a constitutional law professor, called Cheney’s contention that he is not fully part of the executive branch “cockamamie.”

“This ridiculous construct, this constitutional web [Cheney’s] weaving that he is president of the Senate, he’s not a — look, if he’s not, Rahm Emanuel has a bill. If he’s not a member of the executive branch, good. Eliminate his salary. Take away his house,” said Biden.

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has also said his vice president would serve as part of the executive branch.

“My vice president ... will be a member of the executive branch. He won’t be one of these fourth branches of government where he thinks he’s above the law,” said the Illinois senator at a town-hall meeting in Raleigh, N.C., last month, according to The Associated Press.

[Full story...]
See also The Republicans' Disdain For Democracy.

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Anthony Bourdain

Cool, Breezy Bliss & the Sex Cake of Complete & Total Zen.


The weather here is fucking amazing. It's actually cool outside all day long, has been for over a week now. As soon as the pre-autumnal cooldown begins, my mind goes aflutter with thoughts of soups, stews, artisan breads, and the odd cake. Today I tackled one that I think most beginner bakers would run in fear from attempting, and I hit it out of the park if I do say so myself. I had to modify it slightly from the original, but I suspect the recipe I got it from is a slight modification of the original anyway, so no harm. This cake combined my favorite flavors and textures into one dense, just-rich-enough concoction that I can hardly explain in just words. I'll give you the basics that first caught my eye and had me stopped dead in my tracks thinking 'oh, I am SO making that this weekend!'

Hazelnut brown butter cake. Yes, you read that correctly. Hazelnut. Brown. Butter. Cake. With a dark chocolate espresso ganache draping the top and toffee brickle chips to finish it off and make it nice and sparkly. The entire loft smells like what I want the best dreams I have for the rest of my life to smell like. Even when we left to run out for a short bit, the smell was overwhelming when I walked back in the door. I made chicken marsala with mushrooms and cream over linguine for dinner, but this was what I really wanted. By the time I'd finally cut it, it smelled even better and I thought I was going to have a seizure right there with the knife in hand - which wouldn't have been good as I'd yet to taste it. I was immediately taken back to the kitchen at the River Club, the private dining club that was my last foray in the world of culinary whoredom. The preparation of this reminded me of the joconde sponge cakes used to make the decadent and dense Opéra cake that our pastry/sous chef Jean Francois made, but it actually mirrors dacquoise in style, as shown here.

The original recipe comes from Suzanne Goin's new cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques. This was her wedding cake. I can totally understand why. The recipe I used for this came from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs. I had to use almonds because that's what I had on hand, but next time I'm definitely using hazelnuts instead.

I have long said that cooking in many ways is purest alchemy and that you should really trust your instincts and make your own rules, following tried and true methods as guidelines and not being afraid to experiment. That's when it becomes art. All of that having been said, baking is truly science. I have never in my lifetime baked anything quite as wonderful as this. Without question, this is my favorite cake of all time. The outside forms a crackly crust that houses a densely textured and moist, tender cake. This cake is incredibly sexy and seductive, throwing off a different yet equally unctuous perfume at each stage of preparation. It started with toasting the nuts and making the vanilla brown butter which really should have been enough - but then it went into the oven and my olfactories were just...well, fucked. While it was in its last 5 minutes of cooling, I made that amazing and perfectly paired marriage of espresso and dark chocolate in a silky, smooth, deeply lustrous ganache... I didn't leave a single crumb on my plate and would kill and bury anyone that ever did in my presence.

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